The Pew Global Attitudes Project recently released the results of surveys it conducted around the world gauging global perception of the American economy, Barack Obama, American anti-terrorism efforts, and more. The results… could’ve been better. The most shocking part of the poll was that for the first time in history the global public generally considered China to be the world’s top economic superpower, directly ahead of the United States.
Oh yeah?! (*runs out and buys a ton of shit because I can*)(*realizes it’s all made in China*)(*punches a Chinese guy*)(*guy is actually Korean*)(*goes to jail*)
Here’s what the report had to say:
…perceptions of China’s economic power continue to grow. This is especially true in Europe, but the belief that China is the world’s top economy has become more common in the last year in other parts of the world as well, including Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Lebanon.
Views about the economic balance of power have shifted dramatically over time among the 14 countries surveyed each year from 2008 to 2012. In 2008, before the onset of the global financial crisis, a median of 45% named the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power, while just 22% said China. Today, only 36% say the U.S., while 42% believe China is in the top position.
Don’t get too worried though. As the Associated Press points out, China is still well behind the United States in terms of actual economic power. So what could be to blame for the shift in global perception about America and its statistically proven awesomeness? My guess is, since this is all about perception, the fact that one country controls a certain extent of the information that leaves it, MUCH more so than other, probably has something to do with it. Whereas America has a 24 hour news cycle that is seen around the world, a news cycle that has to overblow every minor problem to keep viewers from switching over to Real Housewives, China has more like a zero hour news cycle… and its own private internet that we aren’t invited to. Bummer really, I bet the porno on Chinese internet cuh-ray-zay.
Essentially this public perception of America was formed the same way someone reading a CollegeACB site forms an opinion on Greeks. They see Greeks constantly bitching at each other and then decide not to rush based almost entirely off what they saw on the site. They don’t realize that it’s an exaggeration, that it’s massively overblown.
Now granted, there are other factors that attributed to the shift in public opinion about America. For example, other countries aren’t too wild about all those drone strikes we’ve been carrying out. Well SORRRYYYY world, but terrorists aren’t going to kill themselves. Well, at least not until they’re standing in a crowded market.
There remains a widespread perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries. In predominantly Muslim nations, American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular. And in nearly all countries, there is considerable opposition to a major component of the Obama administration’s anti-terrorism policy: drone strikes. In 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Americans are the clear outliers on this issue – 62% approve of the drone campaign, including most Republicans (74%), independents (60%) and Democrats (58%).
The increase in drone strikes since Obama took office have also hurt his international approval ratings. I’m hoping he gives zero fucks about that and keeps bombing away.
At the end of the day I’d rather be number one than have people think I was number one, but even the opinion of a tight pantsed piece of Euro-trash is important every now and then. Either way, here’s hoping America asserts its dominance even more than it already does and proves to the international community that we are, in fact, number one.
[images via Pew Research Center]